The story of Stephen in our series coincides with Palm Sunday. We pay attention to the reality that both stories have beautiful and surprising characteristics and both stories are tragic and yet end in ultimate victory and triumph. Stephen had been chosen by the people to serve as one of 'the Seven' to ensure that all of the widow received justice in the distribution of food, and yet in our passage today we find him acting very much like the apostles - performing signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit and also preaching very effectively. We look for 2 responses from this story. First we should be drawn to give glory and praise to Jesus because He is the risen King! Stephen was so convinced of this he was ready to go to his death. Second we pause for sober reflection as we observe Stephen's argument against the Jewish religious structure - he pointed out strongly that they had allowed the form of religion and the physical location of the Temple to become more important than the reality of relationship with the Living God. Their eyes had become so blind that they missed the Messiah when He came! We need to be careful always that we do not allow the form of our practice of Christian faith to become more important than the reality of our relationship with the Living God!